How to Choose Dining Chairs for Comfort and Style

Thanksgiving is coming up and many of you are probably planning your table, figuring out who sits where, and whether you have enough seating available. Lucky for me, my daughter is hosting this year because I gave my dining set to her and my newer, smaller table hasn’t arrived yet. Not only that, but I haven’t even chosen chairs. So I’m sharing how to choose dining chairs in the hopes it will motivate me to finally make a decision. (This post contains affiliate links – see my privacy policy.)

French country dining room with crossback chairs


Don’t be afraid to use a mismatched dining set. A wooden table often looks more interesting with painted chairs, as opposed to wood. Black bentwood chairs look great with a honey-stained wood table.

Black bentwood dining chairs with wood stained table


Here’s another example of black dining chairs with a wood table. I’m leaning toward this mix of black and wood for my “new” dining space.

Black Windsor chair with wood table in small dining room


And don’t be afraid to use two colors of the same chair ’round the dining table. Windsor chairs like these are always a favorite of mine.

Dining room with two colors of Windsor chairs


If you’re a daring decorator, consider using all different chair types in your dining room. This approach works when all the chairs are stained wood. To create this look, search for chairs at flea markets and second-hand stores. Furniture is usually cheaper this way, too.

Dining room with mismatched chairs around the table


Plastic molded chairs cozy up to a small table in a modern dining space with a dark blue wall. Note how the wood table has white legs, while the chairs are just the opposite – wood legs with white seats.

Blue and white modern dining room


Be bold and go blue! Any color chair looks great with a wooden table. Cross-back chairs are especially popular today. You can find them in a variety of colors at a variety of price points.

Blue cross back dining chairs around a round wood table


Think about the décor in your dining room when choosing dining chairs. If you don’t want to repaint the walls or buy new buffets or artwork, take your room’s style into consideration.

White cross back chairs in a farmhouse dining room


My daughter had chairs similar to these (except they were black) in the dining room of her former house. I blogged about her dining room a couple years ago. She used this style of side chair paired with faux leather end chairs.

Wood dining chairs with rush seats


So – I’m leaning toward the black Shay dining chair from Pottery Barn. It’s a modern spin on the classic Windsor chair. I already have some black accents in the sitting room, which will soon be the dining room again. I think black chairs will look great.

Black Shay dining chairs by Pottery Barn
Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn


I also like the Cline bistro chair from Pottery Barn. I keep going back and forth between the Cline and Shay chairs. Do you like one better than the other? Let me know in the comments below.

Cline bistro chair from Pottery Barn
Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn


Slipcovered chairs (also from Pottery Barn) are a nice option. You can throw the covers in the wash if food is spilled on them.

Slipcovered dining chairs from PB
Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn


And then there’s these cuties from Anthropologie. Unfortunately, the sage-colored chairs are on back order until April, so these are out.

Keyra chair from Anthropologie
Photo courtesy of Anthropologie


So many options from which to choose! But when you consider the existing style of your room, along with color options and comfort (not to mention your budget), the job of choosing dining chairs is a little easier.

Looking for chairs? Click on the images below for sources on where to buy.



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  1. Deciding on chairs can make a person crazy, there are so many great options. Remember the old oak pedestal tables, that came with the matching pressed back chairs? The table I bought in the ’90’s is long gone, replaced by a more farmhouse rectangular model, but I kept my set of six pressed back chairs and gave them a fresh all white look. I love it!

  2. Sounds like your talking yourself into a Windsor chair of some sort. Tee hee. Just remember to consider the comfort factor.
    PS: Just got our tufted velvet end chairs in a couple of days ago. First time that I’ve bought furniture online. It went well!

  3. It is hard to make up one’s mind, just make sure they are comfortable. Have a fun time with your family and Happy Thanksgiving.

  4. Don’t forget the importance of comfort for both you AND your guests! My husband and I enjoy entertaining, which usually includes dinner followed by a game of cards or dominoes. This means we will be seated for 1-3 hours with a break for dessert and coffee. Poorly designed seating can put a quick damper on festivities, so choose wisely! Good luck!